Majors’ loan books stagnate

by Australian Broker01 Oct 2019

APRA’s banking statistics for August showed home loan volumes remained virtually unchanged when compared to July, despite the hope of stronger market performance at the start of spring.

The Monthly Authorised Deposit-taking Institution Statistics (MADIS), for both investors and owner occupiers, saw CBA take the lead for owner occupier loans posting $285bn. The bank was followed by Westpac, ANZ and then NAB.

Meanwhile, the figures for investor loans saw Westpac take the lead with $185bn, followed by CBA, NAB and ANZ.

Major owner occupier loans for August 2019

Bank

June

July

August

ANZ

$177bn

$159.5bn

$159.4bn

CBA

$302bn

$280.5bn

$285bn

NAB

$156bn

$147.5bn

$148bn

Westpac

$266bn

$227bn

$227bn

Major investor loans for August 2019

Bank

June

July

August

ANZ

$77.5bn

$88bn

$87bn

CBA

$134bn

$155.5bn

$156bn

NAB

$104.5bn

$114

$114bn

Westpac

$153.5bn

$186bn

$185bn

Meanwhile, among the most prominent foreign-owned banks, ING and HSBC were once again the standout performers with owner occupier loans totalling $40bn and $13.5bn respectively.  Additionally, ING’s investor loans stood at $9.4bn for the month and HSBC’s at $5.8bn.

Citibank, which confirmed aggressive rate cuts in August across variable and fixed rate products for owner occupiers and investors, saw its owner-occupier loans reach $4.1bn over the month, compared to $2.5bn in investor loans.

The end of August saw “early signs of improvement” in national housing markets, according to CoreLogic, when auction clearance rates reached a two-year high. Then the week ending 1 September saw just over 1,500 auctions nationwide; up by 85 auctions on the previous week but still below 2018 results when 1,748 homes were taken to auction across the capitals.

Since then, ABS data has confirmed a “sharp rise” in housing finance commitments, supporting expectations that APRA’s September data will show a return to strength across all home loan types.

Last month, APRA’s new reporting regime came under fire for creating a “series” break with historic data.

Financial analyst Martin North of Digital Finance Analytics said, “Given the size of the changes, it is impossible to tell what is happening within individual lenders. Frankly this is a joke, and I feel it is designed to hide, not inform.”